There are more than 4.6 million commercial buildings in the United States today. Some of these facilities were built or upgraded in recent years with the latest in technology and systems for occupant comfort and convenience, but others are still using outdated technology in their HVAC systems.
Here are the top six reasons to upgrade your building’s HVAC system:
Reason Six: Existing Equipment Reaching its End of Life
In the next few years HVAC systems that were installed in the mid-to- late 1990s will be reaching their end of life. As equipment ages, maintenance and operating costs increase and reliability decreases, resulting in more downtime. Today’s heating and cooling systems have advanced significantly in design and efficiency, so facilities managers can look forward to significant operational benefits if they upgrade some or all of the building’s HVAC system.
Reason Five: Space is Undergoing Major Rehab
Building renovations and additions may require an expansion of the HVAC system. It’s important to consult carefully with systems engineers to ensure that any additional equipment that may be required is sized appropriately for the new space. Load calculations should be performed carefully to meet ventilation code requirements AND real world requirements.
Reason Four: Building Needs Better Service – Greater Occupant Comfort
Proper heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning are key to maintaining a comfortable, healthy and productive work environment for building occupants. In addition, IT equipment and certain types of heavy equipment require specific climate conditions in order to function properly. Increases in occupancy or equipment in the building may also lead to a need for better service.
Reason Three: Marketing and Public Relations Benefits
Greater environmental awareness is impacting the way that tenants look at the buildings they choose to occupy and appreciate companies that are environmentally responsible. Current and prospective tenants should be notified of the installation of an energy efficient HVAC system as an example of the building’s green business practices. Going beyond typical light bulb and recycling initiatives to upgrading the HVAC system can draw environmentally conscious customers to your business, bring positive local press attention and awards, and support a positive brand image.
Reason Two: Increase Energy Efficiency – Reduce Costs
Commercial buildings account for just over 30% percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. and heating and cooling accounts for 40% of a commercial building’s total electricity bill. Most businesses are looking for ways to cut costs and the greatest cost-cutting opportunity lies with the HVAC system, a company’s biggest energy user and highest controllable expense. Many local utility companies throughout the country are offering rebates and other business programs that will subsidize and facilitate commercial energy efficiency systems, further reducing the installation expenses associated with an upgrade.
Reason One: Improve IAQ
According to the EPA, the main purpose of an HVAC system is to maintain good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) through proper ventilation with filtration and provide thermal comfort. Poor IAQ is linked to asthma attacks, headaches, dizziness, nausea, allergy attacks, respiratory problems and sometimes life-threatening conditions, such as Legionnaire’s disease and carbon monoxide poisoning. Poor IAQ can cause a host of problems for businesses including employee illness, absenteeism and lost productivity.
What have you done to upgrade your building’s HVAC system and improve IAQ? Tell us in the comments section.